iskander

Karuta Queen one in a million


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Queanbeyan trainer Neville Layt believes Karuta Queen is the filly to take him on the ride of his life with the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast the next stop.

The brilliant filly turned in a performance of blistering speed to win the $200,000 Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic (1000m) on Sunday.

Purchased for just $30,000 as a yearling, Karuta Queen has now amassed $254,000 in prize money in just three unbeaten starts with an even bigger payday looming if she can stretch her brilliance to 1200 metres in the $2 million race at the Gold Coast next month.

“She’s very good and I think she’ll take me on the ride of my life,” 67-year-old Layt said.

“I was very confident coming into today, she’s just got too much brilliant speed.”

The daughter of Not A Single Doubt wasn’t the best to begin in the feature race around the tight Wyong circuit but she mustered speed quickly to move up outside early leader Schiffer.

Apprentice Tommy Berry was going to be happy to sit outside Schiffer on Karuta Queen but the free-running filly was having none of that and kept striding to the front.

From there she never looked back and the chasers were never in the hunt.

Schiffer ran a good race on debut for second while the dominant favourite Defiant Dame was third in running and made no impression in the straight to finish a disappointing third.

Layt said Karuta Queen could have one more start before the Magic Millions Classic.

“If she needs another run she will or maybe I might just look to give her a trial at the Gold Coast,” Layt said.

“I don’t think she’ll have a problem with the 1200 metres.”

The victory capped off a great weekend for Berry who also claimed the Listed Festival Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday aboard Dysphonia.

“She’s going to be very hard to beat in the Magic Millions in Queensland so bring it on,” Berry said.

“We’ll probably have to hold her up a bit more over 1200 metres but the sky is the limit for her at the moment.

Leading jockey Hugh Bowman said debutante Schiffer would take plenty of improvement out of the performance and could also play a significant role come Magic Millions day on January 15.

“She’s a real good filly, she’ll take plenty of improvement from that and can give them some cheek at the Gold Coast,” he said.

Trainer David Payne will have Defiant Dame checked over on Monday after labelling the Gimcrack Stakes winner’s performance a “shocker”.

“She just wasn’t herself today,” Payne said.